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Beneath a Silent Moon by Tracy Grant
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Charles and Mélanie Fraser appear to be a typical Regency couple moving in the glittering world of London society. However, their shared past is significantly more complex: both of them were involved in espionage during the Napoleonic Wars, and now one of their former contacts desperately needs their help. Their encounter with this man leads to the knowledge that Charles’s childhood friend Honoria Talbot might be in danger from a sinister pro-French organization called the Elsinore League. When Honoria is subsequently murdered at a house party in Scotland, it’s up to the Frasers to capture her killer and possibly to unveil a traitor in their midst.

Having devoured Grant’s previous novel Secrets of a Lady (a.k.a. Daughter of the Game), which also featured the Frasers, I was excited to read this prequel. However, this book isn’t quite what I expected. Given Charles and Mélanie’s involvement with intelligence work, I thought the story would primarily be about political intrigue. Instead, the vast majority of the plot revolves around who is sleeping with whom. Essentially, this book is a Regency soap opera with gasp-inducing twists and turns on virtually every page. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book – in fact, I found it compulsively readable. The plot is extremely convoluted, though, and in the end I’m not sure that the mystery was wrapped up satisfactorily. Still, I found this novel an extremely compelling read and look forward to reading Grant’s remaining books.
  christina_reads | Sep 2, 2011 |
Historical fiction, 19th century, England, murder mystery
  JulieBenolken | Jun 28, 2011 |
There were just way too many characters in this story. The book read like a romance yet there really wasn't a romance.

Melanie and Charles were likeable but the rambling plot took away from much of my enjoyment ( )
  Mendoza | Jul 5, 2007 |
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Epigraph
The chariest maid is prodigal enough

If she unmask her beauty to the moon.

Shakespeare, Hamlet
Dedication
FOR JIM

one in five billion
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The night air was like a lover's touch. (Prologue)
"I wish he'd never come back to England, damn him."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061473553, Paperback)

The task had taken shape thanks to the end of a war and the inconvenient way secrets had of bubbling to the surface. It went without saying that it was going to be difficult. But then murder always was...

London, 1817: Beneath a silent moon, a stranger steals into London, bound to complete a grim task that began in the shadows of the past....

On that same evening, amid the splendor of Glenister House, London's haut ton celebrates, still flush with victory in the Napoleonic Wars. Among the revelers are Mélanie and Charles Fraser—he, a former spy connected to the most powerful families in Britain, and she his exquisite bride, who has charmed all of society.

That night, stunning revelations pull the couple back into the world of intrigue they thought they'd escaped, forcing them to untangle a web of lies that spans generations and threatens the fate of nations. But the truth is a deadly weapon that could lead to scandal, tragedy, and murder.

An assassination, a secret society, and the dangerous liaisons of Charles's own family lead the Frasers from the lamplit streets of the city to a castle on the Scottish coast. The stakes of this game are the lives of those Charles holds most dear, and the trust of the enigmatic woman with whom he shares his name...and his bed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:50 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

London 1817. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, Melanie and Charles Fraser have traded the dangers of the war-ravaged Continent for the glittering world of the British ton. But Melanie soon realises how vital that spark of danger is to their partnership. She watches her husband transform into an aloof stranger as he steps back into his old life. Then, an assassination and a trail of clues plunge Charles and Melanie once more into danger. As they search for the truth in a labyrinth of lies, they discover that the answers cut shockingly close to their friends and family - and that beneath the shimmering veneer of London society, there lies an establishment that is rotten to its core.… (more)

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